IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Product improvement and technological tying in a winner-take-all market

  • Richard J. Gilbert


    (University of California, Berkeley - Department of Economics)

  • Michael H. Riordan


    (Columbia University - Department of Economics)

In a winner-take-all duopoly market for systems in which firms invest to improve their products, a monopoly supplier of an essential system component may have an incentive to advantage itself by technological tying; that is, by designing the component to work better in its own system. If the vertically integrated firm is prevented from technologically tying, then there is a pure strategy equilibrium in which the more efficient firm invests and serves the entire market. However other equilibria may exist, including a pure strategy equilibrium in which the less efficient firm invests and captures the market and mixed strategy equilibria in which each firm captures the market with positive probability. In contrast, if the vertically integrated firm is able to degrade the quality of its rival system with a technological tie, and if the wholesale price of the essential component is insufficiently remunerative, then there is a unique equilibrium outcome in which the supplier of the essential component invests alone and forecloses a more efficient rival with an actual, or merely threatened, technological tie. A comparison of these equilibria for the two game forms demonstrates that a prohibition of technological tying can either increase or decrease social welfare depending on equilibrium selection.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Columbia University, Department of Economics in its series Discussion Papers with number 0304-11.

in new window

Length: 37 pages
Date of creation: 2003
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:clu:wpaper:0304-11
Contact details of provider: Postal: 1022 International Affairs Building, 420 West 118th Street, New York, NY 10027
Phone: (212) 854-3680
Fax: (212) 854-8059
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

No references listed on IDEAS
You can help add them by filling out this form.

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:clu:wpaper:0304-11. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Discussion Paper Coordinator)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.